Summary: The next three psalms (Psalm 46, 47, and 48) form a little cluster of prophetic pictures of the kingdom that is coming on this earth. Psalm 46 extols the adequacy of God in facing threats from nature and the nations.
May 29, 2015
Title: A Mighty Fortress is Our God (also called “A Song upon Alamoth.”)
(To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah)
Theme: God is our refuge, a song of the Millennium
Psalm 46 (KJV)
1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
The next three psalms (Psalm 46, 47, and 48) form a little cluster of prophetic pictures of the kingdom that is coming on this earth. Psalm 45 presented the coming of the King to establish His kingdom here upon this earth, the millennial kingdom. The following three psalms set before us this kingdom. Psalm 46 extols the adequacy of God in facing threats from nature and the nations.
The historical occasion that prompted the writing of this psalm cannot be determined for certain. But, according to some Bible scholars, it is highly probable that it was composed when Jerusalem was besieged by Sennacherib’s hosts (Isaiah 37). If this is true, the psalm was probably penned by Hezekiah, perhaps by Isaiah, perhaps by an unknown poet laureate of Judah. But there is little doubt it was written to immortalize the triumph of the angel of the living God over the mighty army of the foe. It fits every era in which the Church is in danger from her foes and it foretells the final destruction of Antichrist.
One other interpretation has been suggested for this psalm. This view links the psalm with the annual temple ritual in which the Davidic king was shown in all his human helplessness to be at the mercy of the powers of the earth, until the Lord intervened to save him and destroy his foes. Such a dramatic ritual would serve to keep fresh the nature of kinship in Israel. Since all three interpretations are hypothetical, the psalm offers an excellent opportunity in which to try out their respective merits.
This psalm is “To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A song upon Alamoth.” The word almah is used in Isaiah 7:14 which says, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bare a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Evidently the word Alamoth means “with virgins” and in this instance speaks of maidens’’ voices. This psalm is one of deliverance and will refer us to another great song of deliverance and victory that was sung when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea. We are told that they sang the song of Moses, but who led the singing? I don’t think Moses was any better at song leading than I am, and I am no good at all; so Miriam, the prophetess, the sister of Moses and Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand and led the singing. The women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. As Moses and the children of Israel sang, “. . . Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea” (Exodus 15:21). So the song leader and the soloist on that occasion was Miriam, the sister of Moses. It was the celebration of a great victory.
Now when the future remnant of Israel is delivered from their enemies by the coming of Christ, they will celebrate a great victory. It is important to see this psalm in its proper setting. It belongs after Psalm 45 and with Psalms 47 and 48. To consider these psalms apart from each other is like the little boy who was asked to give a definition of a lie. In his explanation the little fellow put together two Scripture verses that were totally unrelated. He said, “A lie is an abomination unto the Lord, but a very present help in time of trouble.” He misinterpreted the Scripture. We smile at the little boy, but we do the same thing by taking this psalm out of context.